In addition to their positions of importance in the Miles Davis quintet of the mid-fifties, John Coltrane and Red Garland a series of studio dates for Prestige in 1957 and '58. Here, as in several of the others, Paul Chambers is the bassist and Arthur Taylor is the drummer, with Donald Byrd on trumpet making it a quintet. There are only three numbers, the title song "Black Pearls", an extremely swift version of "Lover Come Back To Me", and the fast "Sweet Sapphire Blues" which begins with Garland soloing from the gitgo in a long, upbeat exploration before Trane unfurls his "sheets of sound". Byrd gets into that rapid fire mode, in and among his evenly-cadenced lines and Chambers (plucked) and Taylor (brushes into sticks)…
Recorded eight months before his death from liver cancer, the concert album Offering: Live at Temple University features legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane performing with his quintet in his hometown of Philadelphia on November 11, 1966. Although it's been available in various incomplete bootleg forms over the years, Resonance's Offering is the first official, complete, and fully mastered version to be released. Produced from a set of long-lost master tapes rediscovered by Coltrane's son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, Offering showcases the late jazz innovator's final ensemble featuring his wife, keyboardist Alice Coltrane, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, bassist Sonny Johnson (sitting in for Jimmy Garrison), drummer Rashied Ali, and a coterie of local guest musicians.
As John Coltrane moved from music rich in chordal complexity to a newer, freer form of modality–in which melodic and rhythmic freedom came to the fore–some critics couldn't make the imaginative leap. But no one could ever question Coltrane's superb musicianship. This all-star session isn't merely an aesthetic bone to these critics, but a superb example of two masters blowing relaxed and free over a tight, intuitive rhythm section. There's Jackson's Modern Jazz Quartet collaborator Connie Kay on drums, master of understated swing; the elegant, eternally tasteful Hank Jones on piano; and Mr. P.C., Paul Chambers, one of the fathers of modern bass playing.
Influential French label Owl was set up in 1976 by photographer Jean-Jacques Pussiau, but it concentrated less on homegrown talent (though it showcased the late Michel Petrucianni) than on reviving overlooked talents and helping celebrated ones find new or rekindled intimacies. Of a current batch of Owl reissues, this 1987 recording led by sometime Miles Davis saxophonist Dave Liebman checks 10 John Coltrane compositions, half with an acoustic band, half with a Miles/Weather Report-like fusion one. Liebman can be as fast-moving and harmonically advanced as the late Michael Brecker, but has his own subtly nuanced tone, skewed intervals (Indian music has been a big influence) and timing. He's tender on an atmospheric Crescent (with Eddie Gomez's bass), After The Rain, and on a yearning Dear Lord (with Jim Beard's strings-like synths), and turns Dahomey Dance into a scything soprano-sax and funk blues. It's wonderful sax, and since Liebman isn't a Coltrane clone, it's also different from the usual tributes - even if the second half shows its age a little.
Digitally remastered live archive release from the Jazz great containing one of Coltrane's last preserved live performances ever. Taped in Philadelphia with excellent sound quality, this set presents Coltrane playing probably the freest version of 'Naima', along with readings of two more of his compositions: 'Crescent' and a powerful version of 'Leo'. Coltrane died shortly after this performance at the age of 40 on July 17, 1967.